Scallops with Shaved Fennel and Citrus

Sea scallops.  Buttery, rich, sea scallops. yum.  I have a weakness for these little guys and every now and then I cannot help myself at the grocery store.  If I am having a rough week there is nothing like scallops to pull me out of it.

So with school in full swing and my first set of tests coming up this was just what I needed.  The perfect treat for myself.  This salad, which was in Everyday Food in July, was an easy, light way to serve them.  I added a little bit of wilted greens and some extra grapefruit juice and it made it just perfect!

Seared Scallops with Shaved Fennel and Grapefruit
adapted from Everyday Food

2 grapefruits, I used white flesh but any would work
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops
1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup English cucumber, thinly shaved crosswise on a mandoline
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 large fennel bulb, cut in half (root end trimmed but left intact to keep fennel together)
2 cups baby spinach
(I garnished mine with some micro-greens and mixed a little purslane into the spinach)

Finely grate enough grapefruit rind to yield 1 teaspoon zest. Peel grapefruits with a paring knife, removing all pith. Working over a bowl, cut the grapefruit segments from the membranes for 1 1/2 grapefruits, cut into bite-size pieces, and set aside. Squeeze juice of remaining grapefruit segments into bowl (you should have 2/3 cup juice). Also set up 4 dinner plates with 1/2 c. of greens on each one so that when your scallops finish you can transfer them right on top.

Heat 1/2 tsp. olive oil over medium heat in small nonstick skillet.  Add greens and wilt very slightly.  You still want some a tiny bit crunch but I feel a softer texture compliments the scallops more.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Pat scallops dry, sprinkle with salt, and season with pepper. Saute 1/2 of the scallops until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip, and continue to cook until barely opaque all the way through, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with remaining scallops. Divide scallops between 4 plates on top of greens, and loosely tent with foil. I like to place them in the middle so you can still see the bed of green around them. Reduce heat to low, and add grapefruit juice. Cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits, until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour sauce over scallops.

Combine cucumber, lemon juice, remaining oil, the grapefruit zest and pieces, chives, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Shave fennel into bowl, season with pepper, and toss gently to combine. Pile salad atop scallops. Enjoy!


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